The mayoral ‘primary’ strategy

There are indications that John Palino is trying to run his mayoral campaign as a ‘primary’ along the lines of the US presidential process.

And this is not just in trying to mimic Donald Trump tactics in trying to tap the angry voter (Auckland and the US may be quite different) and what appeared to be a planned ‘attack the media’ strategy at yesterday’s launch.

But Palino’s acting skills aren’t anywhere near up to the task. Yesterday’s launch looked too faked and farcical.

But there are more signs of a primary approach. From Palino’s pre-launch Fairfax interview:

After Palino announces, there’s one more fly buzzing in the ointment. If he garners support, the vote could split between him and the other rightwing hopefuls, handing Labour-backed Phil Goff easy victory. Victoria Crone, especially, is positioning herself to be the right’s great white hope.

Sure, says Palino, Crone has “grabbed people already so there’s not a lot left for me in Auckland”, but he still has the backers and funders he needs. As for splitting the vote, it’s early days. No one is really running till July, when you actually sign the candidacy papers. “Till then it’s like a primary.”

How will they knock out the other right wing contenders? ‘Spanish Bride’ suggests at Whale Oil:

There is a limited pool of right wing donors for a campaign. Soon they will decide who they will invest their money in and the other right contenders will drop out. Without donors they have no campaign.

So will there be a battle for donations, US style? Will there be attempts to deter donations for other candidates? Will the Auckland mayoralty become a dollar dominated democracy? Much of the anger in the US is about how corrupted by money their politics has become.

In a New Zealand local body context a preliminary head on battle between Palino and Crone may be too damaging to the ‘victor’ if the most trashed candidate drops out – and that’s a big if.

Would any candidate drop out?

With or without Palino’s input his camp didn’t even drop out after the last election, they tried to have the elected mayor dumped to effectively overturn the election result.

The ‘primary’ strategy may be simply a ruse with the aim of trashing and demoralising and starving the right wing candidates of funds and sort of committing them to drop out if things don’t go well for them.

Would Palino drop out if he is overshadowed by say Crone? I wouldn’t bet on it.

Leave a comment

13 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  1st March 2016

    It would be interesting to see in depth interviews of the major candidates but I don’t think the media is up to it nowadays.

    Reply
    • Pythagoras

       /  1st March 2016

      Perhaps all that comes to Alan’s mind is the dreadful interviewing style of Mike Hosking. Lisa Owen or especially Kathryn Ryan could do excellent in-depth interviews of the candidates. And perhaps they will.

      Reply
  2. alloytoo

     /  1st March 2016

    With respect, Palino didn’t hold a gun to Len Brown’s head forcing him to conduct a extramarital affair.

    It appears that the affair was one of the few things Len could actually organise.

    Reply
    • Dougal

       /  1st March 2016

      Sure but then plotting to use it against him is about as dirty as it gets and completely contradicts his current position on “not playing dirty”. This contradictory behaviour is not lost on your average voter.

      Reply
      • alloytoo

         /  1st March 2016

        The problem with conspiracy theories is that they often come into conflict with reality and common sense. The Brown Affairs story broke AFTER the election, far more effective to have it brake prior to polling, also far more effective to have someone other (far further removed) than Slater break the story.

        That’s where it breaks down, it doesn’t pass the sanity check.

        Reply
        • Dougal

           /  1st March 2016

          Agreed, the effectiveness will have been much better before the election and I am well aware the “meeting in the car” was 2 days after the election but I do find it very hard to believe all they spoke about was Chuang wanting advise on opening a Chinese restaurant? Given all the impending flying poo after she broke her story I would have thought business acquisitions will have been far less important. If he truly had no knowledge of what was going on before hand then fine, it’s here-say and thus inarguable. Tinfoil hat off..

          Reply
        • jamie

           /  1st March 2016

          “The Brown Affairs story broke AFTER the election, far more effective to have it brake prior to polling”

          So he’s dirty AND ineffective 😉

          I always found the timing suspicious too, but for a slightly different reason. It’s hard to imagine a competent political strategist holding on to their opponent’s dirty laundry as a ‘plan B’ to knock him out AFTER he’s won the election.

          Very hard to imagine a competent political strategist doing that, but quite easy to imagine it from the Slaters.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  1st March 2016

            Wasn’t the issue that she didn’t sign a legal statement for Slater until it was too late to break the story before the election?

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  1st March 2016

              If the source for that story is Slater or anyone associated with him then I would take it with a grain of bath salts.

  3. Dougal

     /  1st March 2016

    The problem as I see it now is Palino has already nailed his colours to the mast. He has already denied any prior knowledge of Browns pants down and now has to stick to that line. I’m no campaign manager but I would have thought he would stand to gain more by admitting he was tired of keeping a secret about a newly elected compromised mayor and that he did indeed think it was better for Auckland to know the truth about Brown and his lewd acts in culturally blessed council chambers, favouritism and shaky excuses for travel that included Chuang. I would have thought outing yourself as the whistleblower would negate any seedy back room scheming.

    Interestingly Palino was quite demeaning of Graham and Lusk on breakfast TV this morning saying there was a limited pool of talent in this area and all that was left was Lusk and Graham almost implying he was a tiny bit jealous of Vic Crone and her pseudo campaign manager Michelle Boag. Boag is probably the reason Cam is not on board with Crone and why Palino is “left with” Lusk and Graham IMHO.

    Reply
  4. Pythagoras

     /  1st March 2016

    “But Palino’s acting skills aren’t anywhere near up to the task. Yesterday’s launch looked too faked and farcical.”

    It was worse than fake, it looked unprepared, unprofessional and naive. Palino’s advisers and organizers should have provided him with a more controlled and favorable environment. He must have been expecting the questions about the Len Brown affair, etc. Did he do any homework, at all?

    “What are you looking at me like that for, Rebecca”, is just being nasty. She wasn’t buying his answers, got under his skin, so he lashed out and singled her out to pick on. A common bullying technique, designed to intimidate the recipient. A disappointing lack of control by Candidate Palino. Not good to to be losing his rag and cracking under the pressure of Day 1.

    Reply
  5. Palinos primary strategy from the book of Jeb Bush …….

    Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  1st March 2016

      Think you’re right with that comment. We already know he’s planning on copying someone else’s playbook .. Yawn.

      Reply

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